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Help Me Stream Full Blu-ray Over Home Network!

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
Guys,

I've been struggling with this issue for a while now; it baffles me that I keep coming across more & more people each day who are able to successfully stream Full Blu-ray (ISO) from one location in their house to another - while I can't. I don't know if it's my equipment, my setup, my wiring, I just don't know - I'm hoping some of the finer minds here can help me sort this out.

I personally know people streaming Full Blu-ray ISO over LAN from a Windows 7 PC --> Dune Smart D1 so I know it can be done. I just don't know why it's not working for me.

I will try to give as much detail as possible.

What am I trying to do?
I have an HTPC on the ground level in my Family Room, hooked up to my main Home Theater setup (TV, Receiver, Blu-ray, etc.). Main specs of this system...
- Intel "Sandy Bridge" HTPC w/ Intel i5-2500K system;
- 6 X 2TB SATA 3.0 GB/s & 6.0 GB/s 7200RPM Hard Drives;
- 8GB DDR3 Dual Channel Memory
- Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
- Intel EXPI9301CTBLK 10/100/1000Mbps PCI-Express Network Adapter

I have a Dune Smart D1 player on the 1st floor in my master bedroom.

I have a ton of movies/videos/tv shows on the HTPC, and I simply want to stream them over LAN to my Dune Smart D1 sitting in the bedroom upstairs.

What is the problem?
From Day 1 of my endeavor, before I bought Powerline Adapters, before I bought MoCA adapters, before I switched from Cat5 cables to Cat6 cables when I simply used what I had & hooked it all up I have been able to successfully stream everything except Full Blu-ray ISO. I can stream HD Movies easily like MKV, M2TS, TS files even very high quality files like 20 MBPS Video w/ DTS-HD MA or Dolby TrueHD. No problems!! They play absolutely fine without any interruptions; obvisiouly anything smaller then that streams absolutely perfect as well.

The problem happens *ONLY* with Full Blu-ray ISO's. Most of the time the initial previews & studio videos will play fine I'll get to the Menus which will operate fine as well however, as soon as I play the main feature I get extremely jerky video; stuttering; jerks; unsmooth; basically unplayable.

ONE interesting thing to note that I have seen almost every single time - as soon as I hit PLAY on the main feature; it will start off playing absolutely fine for like 10 to 20 seconds right after those 10 to 20 seconds the stuttering begins and then it never ends.

I've tried many different ISO's same result on every single one.

Entire Technical Setup

In order to make this work; I've gone through a few upgrades, but all of them have produced the exact same result.

Effort 1: Initially I had simply a NetGear Router downstairs and a Cisco Router w/ DD-WRT upstairs and I was trying to stream over Wireless Network - that didn't work.
Effort 2: Removed the Cisco DD-WRT and installed D-Link 500 MBPS Powerline Adapters downstairs & upstairs - that didn't work.
Effort 3: Removed Powerline Adapters and installed Netgear MCAB1001 MoCA Adapters downstairs & upstairs - that didn't work.
Effort 4: Replaced all Cat5 Cables with Cat6 Cables - that didn't work.

There has been no change in the performance since the beginning. Everything streams perfectly fine except full Blu-ray ISO.

This is my current technical setup, best explained via Diagram; there are *other* devices & connections from the Netgear WNDR3700 that I have left out. Also, I have Comcast Cable so the Internet feed to Netgear router comes from a Comcast Cable modem.



Note: I used to use the onBoard Realtek Ethernet Adapter in my HTPC; someone told me they had a similar issue and they switched to this particular Intel NIC Card ... so I did as well. Unfortunately it didn't work for me. I know there are a TON of settings for the Intel NIC I'm using ... I have everything at default right now. So it could be some setting I need to change in there; although again, I know someone who uses default settings on the NIC and is able to stream full Blu-ray without issues.

I would appreciate any advice / suggestions.

Thanks!!
post #2 of 48
So, you still have the MoCA kit in between? I think that's your issue for BD-ISO's. I'd try connecting your Dune directly via Cat6 to your router. It should work. While MoCA and Powerline can provide better results than wireless, 1:1 Blu-ray rips will be an issue for most.
post #3 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post

So, you still have the MoCA kit in between? I think that's your issue for BD-ISO's. I'd try connecting your Dune directly via Cat6 to your router. It should work. While MoCA and Powerline can provide better results than wireless, 1:1 Blu-ray rips will be an issue for most.

Right now I do have MoCA; but before MoCA, I did try Powerline and Wireless. Results the same.

Obviously running a Cat6 cable directly from router downstairs to Dune upstairs would result in perfect playback ... but most people introduce these solutions to *avoid* running a direct cable; which is my case. Due to the proximity of the two device locations in the house -- I really don't want to run a Cable.

The reality is, there are tons & tons of people streaming full 1:1 Blu-ray ISO over MoCA, Powerline and other methods. They have no problems. I know some such personally. I need to identify what in my setup is causing the bottleneck.
post #4 of 48
There are ways ( software ) that you can use to test your throughput. I would start there, see what results you get. After that, you might try a NFS server to stream through.
post #5 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by benogil View Post

There are ways ( software ) that you can use to test your throughput. I would start there, see what results you get. After that, you might try a NFS server to stream through.

Can you link me or name a software I could use to test the throughput - off the top of your head? Also, I'm not sure what you mean by 'try a NFS server to stream through' ??

Thanks!!
post #6 of 48
I think you meant to say HD video of 20 Mbps, not MBps - an important distinction. BluRay requires data transfer rates up to 54 Mbps, with potential brief spikes great than that.

I have not used MoCA or an HTPC, so take the following with a grain of salt.

One suggestion is to bypass the router and connect the HTPC directly to MoCA. The idea is to isolate the issue. The issue is either at one or a combination of your HTPC, router, MoCA, Dune or cables.

If you can install iperf/jperf, LAN Speed Test or other similar application on your HTPC, then you can use a second PC, a notebook for instance, and check hard wired throughput speeds at both the router before MoCA is involved and at the location of your Dune, ie after data traverses your MoCA setup.

It may be that certain BluRay disks require too much data to be transferred for your set up. If you haven't done it already, try different BluRay disks.

While I can't give you any settings help, you should be able to determine your throughput and begin to isolate where the issue is occurring.
post #7 of 48
MoCA is your obvious bottleneck, TEST! that's the only way to know. If you have any kind of splitter here I would be weary.

That you replaced both ends cat5 to cat6 is really irrelevant as cat5 is good enough to carry a single HD stream but here your are running into THE WEAKEST LINK.
post #8 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StratmanX View Post

I think you meant to say HD video of 20 Mbps, not MBps - an important distinction. BluRay requires data transfer rates up to 54 Mbps, with potential brief spikes great than that.

I have not used MoCA or an HTPC, so take the following with a grain of salt.

One suggestion is to bypass the router and connect the HTPC directly to MoCA. The idea is to isolate the issue. The issue is either at one or a combination of your HTPC, router, MoCA, Dune or cables.

If you can install iperf/jperf, LAN Speed Test or other similar application on your HTPC, then you can use a second PC, a notebook for instance, and check hard wired throughput speeds at both the router before MoCA is involved and at the location of your Dune, ie after data traverses your MoCA setup.

It may be that certain BluRay disks require too much data to be transferred for your set up. If you haven't done it already, try different BluRay disks.

While I can't give you any settings help, you should be able to determine your throughput and begin to isolate where the issue is occurring.

That is good advice! I will use Lan Speed Test to test LAN Speeds between the HTPC point & my Dune point -- first without MoCA via direct Ethernet cable -- then with MoCA replacing Dune with a Notebook.

I have tried many different Blu-ray ISO's ... so that is not the problem.

I'm very intrigued by your suggestion to connect the HTPC directly to MoCA ... bypassing router, etc.

Let me ask you this question --- I have 2 NIC Cards in the HTPC --- Is it possible for me, from a Networking standpoint, to give the HTPC Internet using one NIC card; and then use the other NIC card to connect the HTPC directly to MoCA ?? I really don't know how I would go about doing this even if it was possible, but that would be a start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBobb View Post

MoCA is your obvious bottleneck, TEST! that's the only way to know. If you have any kind of splitter here I would be weary.

That you replaced both ends cat5 to cat6 is really irrelevant as cat5 is good enough to carry a single HD stream but here your are running into THE WEAKEST LINK.

I agree -- I do need to test with & without MoCA to see the different in throughput.
post #9 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mickey79 View Post

Let me ask you this question --- I have 2 NIC Cards in the HTPC --- Is it possible for me, from a Networking standpoint, to give the HTPC Internet using one NIC card; and then use the other NIC card to connect the HTPC directly to MoCA ?? I really don't know how I would go about doing this even if it was possible, but that would be a start.

I don't know, but I'm sure someone on the forum does.
post #10 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mickey79 View Post

Let me ask you this question --- I have 2 NIC Cards in the HTPC --- Is it possible for me, from a Networking standpoint, to give the HTPC Internet using one NIC card; and then use the other NIC card to connect the HTPC directly to MoCA ?? I really don't know how I would go about doing this even if it was possible, but that would be a start.

Yes u can, but WHY?

Bad: If this is the only box that will be directly hooked up to the Internet, then the rest of your LAN HAS to go through this box to get to the Internet, meaning this box has to be on 24/7.

Pro?: So why do you want to do this? The bandwidth used by Internet is relatively negligible compared to your LAN if your intention is to unload the Internet bandwidth usage from the LAN.
post #11 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mickey79 View Post

Let me ask you this question --- I have 2 NIC Cards in the HTPC --- Is it possible for me, from a Networking standpoint, to give the HTPC Internet using one NIC card; and then use the other NIC card to connect the HTPC directly to MoCA ?? I really don't know how I would go about doing this even if it was possible, but that would be a start.

I'm not familiar with MoCA. In general, if you have two switches/routers at home and want to set up two separate networks, one with routing (so you can have internet access) and the other with no routing (so you have no internet access via that NIC but can be on a private network for your media streaming) then I believe that's pretty easy.

I'm not sure how familiar you are with configuring your NIC properties for Windows or networks in general so I'll try to stay high level and if you have questions feel free to ask.

You'll be connecting to two networks so the subnets can't be the same, ie, if your subnet mask is 255.255.255.0, then you'll probably want to use 192.168.N.X where N is different for your two networks and X is different for each device on a given network.

For NIC #1 that has internet access, you can leave the configuration alone.

For NIC #2 that is connected to your home network with no internet access, it's probably easiest to assign it an IP manually. Give it an IP address and subnet mask but leave the default gateway blank. With no default gateway, the computer will never get confused and try to use that NIC for your internet traffic. Keep in mind that all devices on that network will need to have 192.168.N as the first three digits of their IP address.

I think that should be all you need.
post #12 of 48
MoCA is your weak link. A good electrician can run a cat5 drop for you between the home theater and the bedroom for typically $100 or less per floor. Also check with home theater installers as they are very comfortable with running low voltage wiring in odd places.

Considering what you are trying to achieve a full 100 megabit (or gigabit) link over wired ethernet is a must and the cost would be well worth it to put the headaches behind you.

Also keep in mind that hosting/sharing from a Windows PC has its own challenges as anything that impacts the pc performance could impact streaming performance. Since you have two machines to "serve" a NAS makes more sense as your storage/streaming solution.

Nobody said this hobby was cheap. Good luck.
post #13 of 48
Just because "everyone else" is doing powerline or MoCA, does not mean in the slightest you will be able to. Wireless, powerline, and MoCA will vary from home to home so you cannot compare these 3 technologies across homes. Get someone to run the wire if you are too lazy to do it and be done. Sounds like you have the money.
post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mickey79 View Post

That is good advice! I will use Lan Speed Test to test LAN Speeds between the HTPC point & my Dune point -- first without MoCA via direct Ethernet cable -- then with MoCA replacing Dune with a Notebook.

I have tried many different Blu-ray ISO's ... so that is not the problem.

I'm very intrigued by your suggestion to connect the HTPC directly to MoCA ... bypassing router, etc.

Let me ask you this question --- I have 2 NIC Cards in the HTPC --- Is it possible for me, from a Networking standpoint, to give the HTPC Internet using one NIC card; and then use the other NIC card to connect the HTPC directly to MoCA ?? I really don't know how I would go about doing this even if it was possible, but that would be a start.



I agree -- I do need to test with & without MoCA to see the different in throughput.

Stop wasting your time and the other members here and just dump your MoCA adapters and run proper Cat6 where needed. You will end up being much happier and retain more money in your pocket at the end of the day.

For all you know, the coax in the walls could be poor quality and who know where/how many splitters there are. Wireless/MoCA/PowerLine is for those with more money than brains.....
post #15 of 48
I wired my whole house myself with Cat5e, and Cat6 cable. Be sure you get the proper cable for the job (i.e. outdoor / indoor, solid /stranded, UTP / STP).

I recommend getting the cables, RJ45 plus, and a network cable checker from monoprice.com. They've got the best prices.
post #16 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd View Post

Wireless/MoCA/PowerLine is for those with more money than brains.....

Or people with decent wiring.

I'm running 500mb powerline and getting super solid 80-90 Mb/sec throughput. Way more than enough for max bitray bluray w/HD audio, for about the same cost as a single cat6 drop would've been, and unlike a cable drop I can take it with me if I ever move (or even if I just decide to move the Dune to another room of the house).

Believe me, I'm a big fan of going wired when it's an easier solution, but it ain't always, and other things can and do work just as well in some applications.

This will get even more so when 802.11ac is on the market as wifi will finally be fast enough to stream full HD stuff.
post #17 of 48
Even when Wi-Fi supports theoretical speeds fast enough for sustained blu-ray playback it does not mean that the delivery will in fact be reliable. Lots of things affect wireless.. even if you get reliable playback most of the time, there's always that change in the environment, such as a new source of interference (neighbor gets a different microwave or baby monitor or you yourself change something in the home) that causes problems.

The reality is that people who take this hobby seriously will usually invest in wired connections. It's great that the MoCA is working out for you, but a lot of things impact MoCA performance (such as how many terminations between circuit connections, etc) which means that a cheap CAT5 wire is still the safest way to go.

To put it another way... if someone EXPECTS reliable blu-ray ISO playback then they can try all of the cheap ways of doing it (MoCA, wireless, etc), and if they work, then great, but if they don't, the next solution is wired CAT5e or CAT6.
post #18 of 48
I agree with Jmpage2 here. Cat wire is the only way to assure proper throughput.

But I also think there's something wrong with either your router or PC's network settings.

Visit smallnetbuilder.com as there's tons of tips and info on maximizing a networks potential. In many cases, it's simply incorrect choice of your security protocol.

Don't know if this is helpful but I'm also an Xfinity Comcast user and a Netgear MOCA adapter user as well as power line, wired and wireless with each serving a particular purpose for each zone. While I no longer stream BD Iso's but instead compressed m4v, the ISOs did work well for me via the MOCA most of the time.
post #19 of 48
Ultimately it comes down to what your time is worth. Troubleshooting a network can take anywhere from a couple of hours up to weeks or even months. My previous job involved a lot of troubleshooting of complex network and I had specialized tools to help do it ($10,000 a pop laptop software and $50,000 hardware analyzers).... when I go home I don't want to deal with that crap, I just want to click the remote and watch my movie trouble free... which is why all of the important stuff in my network (NAS, media streamers, security cams) are wired up with hard cables.

Even if I bought an older home that wasn't pre-wired with CAT5e I would run the cable (run many additional drops in my own home with just a bit of help from my wife for some of the tougher ones) or would pay a professional to do it.

If you are hard-wired and have problems then there are typically only a small, limited number, of reasons for it, such as bad cabling, bad firewall/network settings, system load (on a PC based file server), etc. Typically if you run gigabit over CAT5e or CAT6 and the cabling and network switches/interfaces are working properly things should work well 100% of the time.
post #20 of 48
And what should I do - I have a CAT 5e cable connecting my HTPC with my main PC. Sometimes my ISO Blu play without a problem, sometimes - exactly the same problem - as if there isn't enough speed even so it's 1Gb network. I end up not using network at all but would like to figure out why wouldn't it work(( Someone mentioned software for finding bottleneck?
post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ajbolit View Post

And what should I do - I have a CAT 5e cable connecting my HTPC with my main PC. Sometimes my ISO Blu play without a problem, sometimes - exactly the same problem - as if there isn't enough speed even so it's 1Gb network. I end up not using network at all but would like to figure out why wouldn't it work(( Someone mentioned software for finding bottleneck?

A program that does a speed test is not going to diagnose a problem with sharing from a PC if it does not happen all of the time. When I troubleshoot a problem like this I typically start by doing a fresh install on a spare hard drive and see if the problem occurs with a base windows + updates + drivers. If no problems then you have a software or resource problem and not a hardware or cabling issue. I might also run a network sniffer to get a better handle on the issue. There is no magic bullet here.

A lot of things can affect playback when you are running a network share from a PC and some of them are related to Windows itself.

You can spend an awful lot of time troubleshooting a problem like this, you should start for asking for help at the small net builder forums. Provide a full list of all of the equipment you are using including the PC components, all applications installed on the PC, etc.

A lot of people don't want to deal with these headaches and instead of sharing from a PC that has other tasks in the home they use a dedicated device like a NAS to share media or, if they are PC savy they might build something like an UnRaid box.
post #22 of 48
just going to chirp in, the Dune has it's own throughput test.

you have to browse to a file, press popup menu and i think once you click on "file info" there is "read test"
post #23 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmpage2 View Post

A program that does a speed test is not going to diagnose a problem with sharing from a PC if it does not happen all of the time. When I troubleshoot a problem like this I typically start by doing a fresh install on a spare hard drive and see if the problem occurs with a base windows + updates + drivers. If no problems then you have a software or resource problem and not a hardware or cabling issue. I might also run a network sniffer to get a better handle on the issue. There is no magic bullet here.

A lot of things can affect playback when you are running a network share from a PC and some of them are related to Windows itself.

You can spend an awful lot of time troubleshooting a problem like this, you should start for asking for help at the small net builder forums. Provide a full list of all of the equipment you are using including the PC components, all applications installed on the PC, etc.

A lot of people don't want to deal with these headaches and instead of sharing from a PC that has other tasks in the home they use a dedicated device like a NAS to share media or, if they are PC savy they might build something like an UnRaid box.

Exactly. That's the reason I built my own unraid server, and so far I haven't had any issues streaming anything. I've been having other issues with dropped packets, error and frames, and this is after changing wires, re-terminating wire, testing giga switches. The only thing I haven't changed is my WNDR3700 router, which started behaving weird after doing the latest beta FW.
post #24 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmaolmao View Post

just going to chirp in, the Dune has it's own throughput test.

you have to browse to a file, press popup menu and i think once you click on "file info" there is "read test"

That is a great way to baseline a system, but won't do squat to help diagnose an intermittent problem.
post #25 of 48
I just gave up even trying to transcode and called up an installer to do two cat5e runs this weekend. Estimate isn't bad: $190 for the two runs from two bedrooms in 2nd floor to basement via attic. Includes cables, wall plates and connectors.
post #26 of 48
Also, make sure that the installer puts a wire tester on to check the cable out before leaving, will save you (and him/her) headaches if there is a loose termination somewhere.
post #27 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post

I just gave up even trying to transcode and called up an installer to do two cat5e runs this weekend. Estimate isn't bad: $190 for the two runs from two bedrooms in 2nd floor to basement via attic. Includes cables, wall plates and connectors.

For $190 you could of bought 1000 ft of cat6 cable, all the necessary RJ46 connector, crimping, cutting, stripping tools and network cable tester tool and have money left over for beer

Then again that's me. I like doing my own work because if something goes wrong I don't want to be calling someone everyday trying to figure out what happened
post #28 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

For $190 you could of bought 1000 ft of cat6 cable, all the necessary RJ46 connector, crimping, cutting, stripping tools and network cable tester tool and have money left over for beer

Then again that's me. I like doing my own work because if something goes wrong I don't want to be calling someone everyday trying to figure out what happened

That's fine if you're comfortable cutting holes in your own walls, drilling through studs, crawling around in the attic/basement and dealing with any of the other potential challenges that would not cause an experienced pro to even bat an eyelash.

Not everyone has these kinds of skills, and for some professionals, it's not worth their time and effort to do it themselves when it can be done for a reasonable cost by someone who has experience doing it.
post #29 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post


For $190 you could of bought 1000 ft of cat6 cable, all the necessary RJ46 connector, crimping, cutting, stripping tools and network cable tester tool and have money left over for beer

Then again that's me. I like doing my own work because if something goes wrong I don't want to be calling someone everyday trying to figure out what happened

I paid $70 just for the crimping tool!
post #30 of 48
Thanks for the testing tip Jason. Re: $190, it seems worth it to let the two guys who're coming do it. It looks to be a decent amount of work. Too much hassle for just me, and I know I'd end up making mistakes, making holes in the wrong places, etc.
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